Gardening


by Julie Branstetter, Th.B. On this page you will find a conglomeration of projects, photos and thoughts on gardening to help inspire you. I love to garden, it is one of the most relaxing and rewarding things I do. Even though it involves quiet a bit of work and time, with a few tips in hand, it is always time very well spent. Have any tips you've learned in the garden? Guest posts are always welcome!

Simple Southern Living

September 3, 2014

I took my girls out for a day of strawberry picking at Deans Farm in Wilson, NC today. They enjoyed some homemade ice cream and berries even though it is cool and partly cloudy here. We had a girl's day out since my husband had to work today. Daddy daughter time is the evening. They are going shopping with their allowance. I'm glad I could spend some time with them today before our new little addition is born in the next 2 weeks. :) So blessed to just live a simple life! How are you spending your Saturday? :)
 

Early Spring

September 3, 2014

I finally had a free morning to walk through my yard early and take some photos of our early signs of spring

in Elm City, North Carolina  I love these new photos and I love to see things coming back to life. 

Here is what I got!

Hostas bursting out of the wet earth, reaching for the sun.



Last year's parsley pot coming back...

and chives...

The bushes we planted last year are covered in new growth and pink blooms.

Flower s...


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OUR LITTLE 'ELSIE'

July 16, 2012
When my neighbor's wife died, he went into an old folks home and when his family cleaned out his home to sell it they brought over all of her pottery for gardening. I would see Mrs. Elsie work on her carport many times with those pots, taking cuttings and creating new trees from the ones she had growing in her yard already. One of the pots had a tree growing in it (almost 2 ft tall). It was pretty and since it was a reminder of Mrs. Elsie I just kept it on my gardening table outside. E...

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STRAWBERRY GARDEN BLUES

June 15, 2012
Well, I finally did it.  I pulled up the boards around my strawberry bed (100 sq ft) and mowed over the entire thing. I cut up the wood for fire pit burning in the evenings because I do hate to waste. I didn't want to mow over the berry patch but I had to, it was an eye sore that hurt more everyday to see.  It wasn't easy to do since I had to wait a year before I could even profit from those strawberries, but they didn't do well this year and I have learned a few things over the course of the...

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Black Spot Fungus on Rose Bushes

May 4, 2012
Do you have those black spots on the leaves of your rose bushes, followed by yellow leaves and then bony stems and no leaves?  Yep, you have black spot fungus on your rose bushes.  Unfortunately the leaves which are showing black spots cannot be salvaged, but you can stop the spreading of the fungus to the rest of the plant and it will comeback full and beautiful with these easy kitchen mixes.  You can mix 1/2 a cup of baking soda and a gallon of water together in your watering can and rinse ...

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Natural Deterrent for Eastern Gray Squirrels

May 4, 2012
If you have struggled with those pesky squirrels rip[ping up all your hard work this spring here is a quick tip for keeping them at bay.  Mix 3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper, and a 1/2 teaspoon of dish soap in a gallon sized watering can and fill the can with water.  Mix well and pour over the plants you want to protect.  Do this just before the sun comes out so the mixture will dry onto the leaves and repeat as needed, maybe every three weeks.  You can also sprinkle cayenne or Habenaro seeds...

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SPRING HIDES AND SQUIRRELS DESTROY

May 3, 2012
Today was a hot day in eastern North Carolina.  It is the third day of May and suddenly we go from a wonderfully cool spring to a super hot almost summer.  Mid to upper 90's today is a bit hotter than usual, but it happens sometimes.  It is always tough on a newly sprouting garden though.  It is always good to water gardens in the morning hours, that way the water has time to sink into the soil instead of evaporate out of the first layer of dirt and the plants leaves can dry in the sunlight w...

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NEED LOADS OF DIRT ON A BUDGET?

April 16, 2012
Here is a great tip that I learned when attempting to fill my large garden beds with dirt last week.  If you've ever had to purchase potting soil or topsoil for your garden you know that a bag (1 cu. ft.) of dirt is anywhere from $3 to $8 a bag.  If you have a large garden bed to fill that is going to be expensive!!!  You want good dirt in your garden bed though so here is something you may try where you live.  You may never have to buy bags of dirt from a store again.  Most towns or cities h...

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BUILD YOUR OWN GARDEN BEDS!

April 3, 2012
So your dirt is no good huh?  Mine either, let's fix it!

        

I have noticed there are kits available for purchase now that you can order online or purchase in the local hardware stores with pre-cut wood that you put together (build yourself) at home.  That's great!!  Except there is one problem.  Have you seen the price on them?  Wow!!   Upwards of hundreds of dollars for SMALL beds you still have to build.  The best I have seen locally is one the other day for only $29.99 at a local stor...
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PAINTED TERRACOTTA POTS

February 21, 2012
This has got to be the hardest time of year for people who love to garden, especially those who plant vegetable gardens.There are a few little things that can be done this time of year around my area in eastern North Carolina, but aside from raking, weeding and giving the ground and initial tilling, it is a waiting game. So while we wait here is an idea that will prime you for the spring planting and garden decorating season and even provide some unique gifts for your friends. When I go out ...

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WHILE I'M WAITING

February 8, 2012
While I am waiting for the winter to slip into Spring I am planning my raised garden beds and wondering about my strawberries.  This winter has been very mild, so much so that the strawberries never really died back.  I cut them back in the fall and covered them with straw however some of this winter has been so consistently mild and it has caused the plants to continue to grow.
They really have grown back and the strawberry plants are peeking out of the straw here and there.  I do hope this ...
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RAISED GARDEN BEDS

January 12, 2012
We haven't had much of a winter this year.  In fact, nothing has completely died off.  My hanging plants wilt one day and bounce back the next.  I haven't had the heart to throw them out, what with their struggle to survive and all.  Perhaps this is why I am already dreaming of putting in raised garden beds this Spring, which is nipping at my winter boots.  That gleam of sunlight after three dreary days of clouds and rain doesn't help.  I'm easily inspired!  One thing is for sure, never count...

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